Care Matters Weekly: Friday 8 January 2021

This is the Care Matters Weekly update for Friday 8 January 2021, including information on: COVID-19 Vaccine Infection Control Fund 2 Important updates for January 2021 Returning testing kits Registration […]

Published on 8/01/2021 in Care Matters Weekly | News

This is the Care Matters Weekly update for Friday 8 January 2021, including information on:

The latest guidance on Testing, PPE and Training can be found in the relevant sections on the Sutton Care Hub website.

COVID-19 vaccine 

Vaccinations are now available for all Care Home and Home Care (Dom Care) staff working in Sutton. To register you will need to complete the below form and email it back to the following:

Care Homes: [email protected]

Home Care: [email protected]

The COVID-19 Vaccine page on the Hub has been updated with this latest information.

Infection Control Fund 2 

Central Government have updated the guidance for the latest round of Infection Control funding to include the following:

Providers should use the fund to ensure that staff who need to attend work or another location for the purposes of being vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 are paid their usual wages to do so, and any costs associated with reaching a vaccination or testing facility.

Important updates on testing for January 2021

Reminder to please not return test kits to the lab containing personally identifiable information

A reminder not to include any personally identifiable information when returning test kits as these samples are handled by multiple organisations. This includes not writing any personally identifiable information on test kit vials, test kit bags, individual return boxes, or by slipping bits of paper with personal information into the outer return boxes.

New registration portal improvements 

Note: these improvements are for the organisation based testing portal, so will only impact user groups that register through this portal.

*From January 7, 2021, there will be an updated and improved technical error screen. This will show more information including if your organisation has failed during registration and the reason behind this. This will make it easier for you to see which registrations have gone through successfully and which have not been successfully registered.

*When you log into the registration portal, the ‘Organisation Type’ screen will now be removed. Instead, your organisation type will be linked based on your Unique Organisation Number (UON). This will make the registration process quicker for you.

*Please make sure that your UON is correct when you log into the portal. There has now been a validation added to the UON entry to confirm against our system whether or not what you have entered is valid. This will lead to fewer registration errors with test kits more likely to be registered against the right organisation number.

LFD replenishment details will be released in January

You should have been provided with enough test kits to last you through Christmas and the New Year. Replenishment details for being able to order more LFD kits will be released in January ‘21.

Changes to PCR test kit packaging

Further to recent communications, colleagues are reminded that from January 2021, there will be ONE leak proof bag for the packaging of swab samples included in every PCR test kit made for the Satellites channel, with the exception of kits for care homes, university cohort pooling and pharmacies. 

This leak proof bag will replace the zip-lock and biohazard bags formerly included in PCR test kits.

Unfortunately due to a printing error, numerous leak proof bags have incorrect instructions printed on them asking staff to double bag their swabs. To mitigate the potential for confusion, included is a slip with every box of test kits telling recipients to follow the instructions in the instruction booklet and ignore the incorrect instructions on the bag.

While this change will start to become visible to users from w/c 11th Jan, existing stocks of PCR kits with two bags will also need to be rundown, so there will be a period of time when both kit types will be in circulation at once.

National Lockdown  

We issued a special Care Matters Weekly update earlier this week following the move to National Lockdown, including information on: 

  • Hands. Face. Space. guidance
  • School closures and key worker status
  • Testing and vaccinations
  • Care Home visiting

As well as other updates concerning Day Service Providers, Supported Living and Extra Care services and provider reporting.

Oral health toolkit for care homes 

Public Health England and stakeholders have produced this toolkit to support care homes and commissioners to implement the NICE guideline (NG48): Oral health for adults in care homes. The toolkit also contains useful links for care home staff, residents, their families and friends to support good oral health and reduce oral health inequalities. 

January activities calendar for care homes

Never run out of activities to do with your residents! You can download your free January activities calendar and checklist, including ideas like Z-Day, Trivia Day, Bird Day and more. The link will be updated each month with new activities calendars. 

Care home staff survey 

Have you worked at least 8 shifts in a UK care home in the last 4 months?

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (Norfolk, UK) are looking for care home staff to take part in a short survey to tell the what it has been like to cope with trying to prevent the spread of infection in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, and if you leave your contact details, they will enter your name into a prize draw for the chance to win one of five £10 Amazon gift vouchers.

To complete the survey, please click on this link.

They would also like to interview some care home staff by telephone or online. Online platforms may be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, but others may be available. The choice will depend on what you prefer and whether the researcher has access to the same technology. Anyone who consents to be interviewed by us, they will also receive a £20 Amazon Gift Voucher (in addition to being entered into the prize draw for completing the survey). 

If you are interested in this part please contact Dr Diane Bunn ([email protected]) at the University of East Anglia for further information.

This study is funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness at the University of East Anglia.

Updated guidance for Supported Living 

The government has updated its guidance for Supported Living providers following the latest change in COVID-19 restrictions.

The guidance is primarily for supported living settings, but many of the principles are applicable to extra care housing for older people. It may also be a useful resource for the wider supported housing sector, such as retirement or sheltered housing. Given the different types of supported living and the associated care, support and help for people living there, this guidance cannot be specific to individual locations, and local managers should use it to develop their own specific ways of working to protect people’s wellbeing and minimise risks.

Q&A with relatives of Care Home residents 

On 4 and 5 January we ran two Q&A sessions for relatives of care home residents to provide the opportunity to ask questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the roll out in Care Homes. 

Below is the presentation used and log of questions asked.

Weekly Q&A with Care Homes 

We will resume our weekly Q&A next week on Wednesday 13 January at the new time of 11am-12pm to accommodate more managers and staff having the opportunity to attend the session. 

As always, the session will give you an opportunity to ask questions and discuss situations arising due to COVID-19. The session is optional, and you can drop in and out of the session as you are available.

If you have any questions you would like to share in advance of the session please send to [email protected] and mark FOR Q&A LOG. Questions may be asked during the session which have not been submitted in advance, however, please note we may need to come back to you with an answer at a later date.

National Lockdown changes to School Streets scheme

Please note:

School Streets schemes in Sutton will not be operating during the National Lockdown and will not be enforced. Signage has been covered to make this clear to residents. This policy will be reviewed in line with national guidelines on when schools are scheduled to reopen. 

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